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1. General Information

Environmental Data – Watermanagement in Germany (only in German)

Not only the regulations from the water law in Europe but also the national regulations of the specific countries which implement and substantiate the guidelines are important. In Germany, apart from the regulations at the German federal level, further Land laws and bylaws need to be taken into account .

In Germany the application of small waste water treatment systems (up to 50 population equivalents) in areas not connected to the public sewer system and the use of rain water have been established in the last 20 years. Around 1.5 million small waste water treatment systems are currently in operation in Germany. According to estimates, there are around 1.3 million rain water utilisation systems in private households (Bullermann 2008).
Sustainable sanitation concepts are mainly realised in pilot projects. The objectives of sustainable sanitation concepts are the reuse of water and recovery of waste water components (nutrients, org. substances, etc.). Basic idea of this resource oriented sanitation systems are the collection and treatment of seperated waste water flows.

In the domain of decentralised waste water and rain water treatment, there are several business opportunities for SMEs beyond development, production and distribution of decentralised treatment units. The planning and consulting for individually adjusted concepts for waste water disposal or rain water management as well as the monitoring and maintenance of the plants require a professional and competent support. A cost management will be necessary for new sanitation concepts to distribute the expenses amongst the individual users. The treatment of waste resulting from the operation of decentralised waste water and water plants is also of particular importance with regard to the recycling economy.

For small and medium-sized enterprises who want to establish themselves in the outskirts of cities or rural areas without the complete infrastructure for public water supply and waste water disposal, decentralised concepts offer an economical and financial possibility for its realisation. An in-house water recirculation system, process water production with grey water and rain water treatment are conducive to the reduction of water costs and make the company more independent from water supply and waste water management companies. These new systems provide a considerable contribution to protection of the environment.
There is a considerable number of companies offering different solutions for decentralised wastewater treatment such as membrane and fixed film techniques as well as sequencing batch reactor (SBR) concepts. Some examples are given in the Background Paper „Decentralised Waste water treatment for SMEs“ which has been cited here.

2. Specific Information


Pratical Examples

  • AKWA Dahler Feld: The small settlement Dahler Feld with 100 inhabitants near the city of Selm in North Rhine-Westphalia was equipped with membrane bioreactor (MBR) small scale water treatment plants instead of sewers for a centralized solution. Each of the 26 houses got its own plant in 2005 after extensive concept planning including a broad public participation. The project activities are documented in the report “AKWA Dahler Feld: Contracting im Bereich der Wasserwirtschaft” (German).
  • Decentralized water management DEUS 21: Demonstration project in Knittlingen. New, innovative solutions in water management are sought by the Fraunhofer IGB, working together with the Fraunhofer ISI (Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe) and the Institute of Environmental Engineering (ISA) at the RWTH Aachen University.
  • SPIN Database – click on item industry sectors and select wastewater
  • ActClean Database -  click on item industry sectors and select wastewater technologies
  • Cleaner Production Germany Database, e.g. industrial waste water and many more